A project launched during the 1970s in Germany to examine the possibility of using wind as the main motive power for merchant vessels. The proposition was to reintroduce square-rigged ships of up to 17,000 tonnes as bulk carriers with an aerodynamically designed sail plan allied to a mechanical means of handling it. The main impetus behind this project was fear over the cost and scarcity of oil, but none was ever built. However, the technology was later purchased by a yachtsman who in 2005 launched a 87.2-metre (286-ft) three-masted square-rigger on the same principles. It has an unstayed rig which should allow it to sail as close hauled as a Bermudan rig.
Subjects: Maritime History.